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Host of top athletes in action for Asian C'ships berth in Fed Cup

Press Trust of India  |  Patiala 

All the top athletes except star thrower and a few others will be seen in action in which begins here on Friday.

Neeraj, who is currently training in since January 12, has been exempted from participation in this first big meet of the season, which also serves as the selection trials for the April 19-24 Asian Championships in

National record holder long jumper M Sreeshankar will also miss the event as he is injured while high jumper Tejaswin Shankar, who is on a full scholarship at the in USA, will not compete due to clash with examination dates.

The has made it mandatory for all the athletes, except those who have been exempted, to take part in the Federation Cup if they want to get selected for the Asian Championships. However, the selection committee is expected to take a final call on the matter.

More than 700 athletes will compete in the championship.

The AFI has already laid down tough qualifying standards for the Asian Championships.

Among those who will be seen in action include India's new sprint sensation Hima Das, her male counterpart quartermiler Mohd. Anas, gold medallists (800m and 1500), (800m and 1500m), Arpinder Singh (triple jump), Tajinder Singh Toor (shot put), Swapna Barman (heptathlon).

thrower Davinder Singh Kang, who was a strong competitor of Neeraj till 2017 when he tested positive for a banned drug, will return to action after being cleared of doping charges.

Shot putter Inderjeet Singh will also participate in the meet after the decision of the Anti-Doping Appeal Panel of the NADA to exonerate him in his 2016 doping case.

Inderjeet, a bronze winner and 2015 Asian champion, competed in series, posting a best of 19.35m for second place in the opening meet at Patiala. He will have a tough competition from Toor in the Federation Cup.

The women's 400m race will be one of the most anticipated events with the field having Hima Das, K Vismaya and seasoned M R Poovamma. Vismaya had stunned the World U-20 champion Hima at the third leg of series earlier this month.

Silver medallist in the 100m and 200m in the Asian Games, Dutee Chand will be the star attraction in the same events. She will face stiff competition from Hima in the women's 200m.

The men's 400m will witness triple silver medallist and national record holder competing against Arokia Rajiv, and while Ayyasamy Dharun is the favourite to win the 400m hurdles gold.

An interesting three-way contest is on the cards in men's 1500m event among Jinson Johnson, and Manjit had pipped Johnson for gold in 800m race.

The women's 1500m will see the likes of and P U Chitra trying to outdo each other. Maharashtra's Archana Adhav will also provide strong competition to the two runners.

Gold medallist in Asian Championships in 2017, Govindan Lakshmanan will participate in the long distance double of 5000 and 10000 metres.

Asian Games gold medallist Arpinder Singh will start as favourite to win the gold in men's Neena Pinto and last year's gold medallist Nayana James will vie for the gold in the women's

In the women's throw, national record holder Annu Rani will be the overwhelming favourite to win the gold.

Asian Games gold winner Swapna Barman will try to break 6000-point barrier in heptathlon but Odisha's Purnima Hembram is expected to push her all the way.

The men's field will be a depleted one in the absence of last edition's winner Tejaswin as well as silver medallist

S Siva, the national record holder in pole vault, will be back to defend his crown in Patiala.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 14 2019. 19:55 IST